Joan Carol MacVane Wood

AUBURN – Joan Carol MacVane Wood, “Joanie”, 83, of Sabattus and Cliff Island, Maine, passed away peacefully on November 24th, 2021, at Schooner Memory Care in Auburn.

Joan was born to parents Earl Rufus and Ethel MacVane, on January 2nd, 1938, in Portland, Maine. Her parents raised her on Cliff Island, Maine. It was there that she discovered her love of nature and animals. As the daughter of a fisherman, she was taught how to fish and spent her teenage summers earning extra money lobstering and fishing. She always loved the ocean and was a true Island girl through and through.

Joan attended the one room schoolhouse on Cliff Island through eighth grade and then she took the ferry from Cliff Island to Portland to attend Portland High School. She graduated from Portland High School on June 16th, 1955.

Joan went on to study at Central Maine General Hospital School of Nursing in Lewiston. Graduating as a Registered Nurse on September 4th, 1958. It was while attending nursing school that she met her future husband, Walter L. Wood of Sabattus. They were married on Sept 21st, 1958, on Cliff Island, Maine. Together they raised 2 children in Sabattus, Keith and Karen.

Joan worked as a Registered Nurse for many years. First at Central Maine General Hospital in Lewiston, then as the School Nurse at Sabattus Elementary School from where she eventually retired. She enriched the lives of many students with her beautiful smile and healing touch. She also worked part-time and volunteered for various private duty and hospice care nursing positions and cared for many family members, friends and neighbors.

Joan’s smile just lit up a room. She had the biggest heart and shared it generously with all the people and animals around her, especially her family who meant the world to her. Joan enjoyed a good card game, singing songs, vacationing with friends, snowmobiling, nature walks, fishing, boating, cooking, and feeding all walks of life.

Joan is survived by her brother, Earl L. MacVane and his wife Judith of Cliff Island, her sisters-in law; Ruth Wheeler, Louise Wood, Dawn Wood, Julia Shnur and Joan Tancrel of Sabattus and Judith Chateauvert of Greene, her son, Keith A. Wood and his wife Florence of Sabattus, her daughter Karen A. Griffin and her husband James of Portland and Cliff Island, and her grandchildren Jennifer Langlois of Lewiston, Justin Wood and his wife Shelby of Sabattus, Jessica Griffin of Portland and Dylan Griffin of Cliff Island. Joan is also survived by her adored great-grandchildren; Aubrey, Kaleb, Logan, Sydney and Rydge, plus many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents Earl Rufus and Ethel MacVane of Portland, her husband Walter L. Wood of Sabattus, her brother David H. MacVane and his wife Patricia of Casco, her brothers-in law: Frank Wood and his wife Ruth of Gray, Kenneth Wheeler, James Wood, Bruce Wood, Morris Shnur, and Gerard Tancrel of Sabattus and Conrad Chateauvert of Green.

Joan was an angel on earth and will be missed by all the people whose lives she touched. Her family is sure that she is smiling, dancing and looking over them with her beloved husband Walter.

The family would like to thank the staff at Schooner Memory Care and Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice for the wonderful care they gave Joan in her final years.

Online condolences and sharing of memories may be expressed at

A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, Dec 3, from 2-6 p.m., at Pinette, Dillingham and Lynch Funeral Home 305 Alfred Plourde Parkway Lewiston, ME 04240 with words to be spoken at 3 p.m. A graveside service is planned for the spring at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Sabattus.

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